Equipment will be auctioned at RG Steel
By Jamison Cocklin
The new owners of the former RG Steel mill on Pine Avenue Southeast have contracted with a Canadian auction house to sell off a sizable portion of its non- operational and outdated equipment.
Maynard Industries, along with three other industrial auction houses, will conduct the event both on site and via webcast beginning March 12 and ending March 15.
“We have contracted with Maynard Industries to sell off excess, nonessential mill equipment,” said Victor DiGeronimo, president of Independence Excavating in Cleveland, and a partner in BDM Warren Steel Holdings LLC, which purchased the mill in August for $17 million after RG Steel declared bankruptcy and closed it.
“The equipment being sold has not operated in numerous years and in no way affects our ability to continue to look for an operator for the steelmaking side of the mill,” he added.
Despite a long list that requires the assistance of multiple companies to help liquidate the assets, Maynards’ online summary of the auction, along with several others, clearly states no assets used in the steel- production process for the hot-strip mill will be sold.
Shortly after more than 1,000 workers were laid off last summer, Charles Betters of C.J. Betters Enterprises stepped forward with an interest in buying the idled mill and was approved to do so through a Delaware bankruptcy court.
Though Betters could not be reached Friday, he repeatedly has voiced his intent to reopen the mill under new ownership, a process he and his partners claim to be aggressively pursuing.
In an email, DiGeronimo said BDM has spent more than $500,000 winterizing the facility and will continue to invest in “turning bearings, motors, etc. to keep the plant ready for operation.”
Most of the items up for sale include those from the machine and carpentry shops, as well as old, nonoperational finishing equipment.
A sampling of the list on Maynards’ website shows long-bed lathes, boring mills, several backhoes and hauling trucks, along with roll-forming lines and forklift trucks up for grabs.
Local, regional and national representatives from the United Steelworkers union either knew too little about the auction to comment or refused to share what information they have with The Vindicator on Friday.
Bill Miller, director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, said he had no specifics on the auction but pointed out that during the most-recent meetings with officials from BDM and Ohio’s congressional delegation, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and the mill’s fate remains the same for now, with BDM searching for an operator.